Third Time’s a Charm: An Italian Adventure to Tuscany and The Mezzatorre Hotel

Sometime in 2019 I watched a show on PBS called I’ll Have What Phil’s Having starring the famous writer/creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and foodie, Phil Rosenthal (a fabulous show now also on Netflix, more on that later).  

In one particular episode about Italy, Phil visits a celebrity chef and friend of his, Nancy Silverton, in her summer home in the Umbria region of Italy.  I was so inspired by that episode and the conversation between the two of them about the virtues of traveling to Italy that I set about planning a trip the following summer.  (I have since watched this episode at least five times, I love it.)

On the agenda:  Start in Rome for a couple of days of sightseeing, rent a house in Tuscany with family and friends, work a day trip into Florence, and spend four or five days at a hotel that is very high on my travel list, the Mezzatorre, on the island of Ischia.   The Mezzatorre is part of the Pellicano Hotels group and sister property to the Hotel Il Pellicano where many a Slim Aarons photograph was taken.

We all know how this story ends…the coronavirus pandemic hit in the Spring of 2020 and we ultimately decided to cancel.  

While disappointing, I am still so excited to take this trip in the future.  

Here is a glimpse into our future (2022? Fingers crossed) Italian itinerary.

And by the way, a couple of other recommendations to get your Italian fix since we aren’t able to get there now: Second Life podcast with Nancy Silverton: Celebrity Chef, Restaurateur, and Author (this podcast is great, I highly recommend it) and the new CNN show, “Stanley Tucci:  Searching for Italy”.

House In Tuscany

Il Cornello | 9 Bed Luxury Villa with Pool | Montepulciano

The Mezzatorre Hotel in Ischia

Mezzatorre Hotel & Thermal SPA, 5 star hotel in Ischia, Italy

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Spaghetti with Creamy Lemon Sauce by Skye McAlpine + her cookbooks A Table In Venice and A Table for Friends ~ my kids love this lemon pasta
  2. CNN show, “Stanley Tucci:  Searching for Italy” – fabulous.
  3. Earrings from Aerin Lauder, I love the section on her website called “Aerin’s Finds”
  4. Hotel Il Pellicano, a Slim Aarons coffee table book
  5. Sunglasses, with just the right amount of Gucci
  6. Summer staple: Valentino sandals 
  7. Italy is My Boyfriend, by Annette Joseph – I read this in two days, it is hilarious. A true story of a couple’s quest to buy a second home in Tuscany.
  8. The Missoni Family Cookbook
Beautiful Tuscany
The  show that inspired the trip, Phil, Nancy and Dario Cecchini, the famous Italian butcher
Our rental house – Il Cornello
Il Cornello Pool
Il Cornello Kitchen
Island of Ischia
Private Bay for swimming at the Mezzatore

Dreamy hotel room

I bought this photograph from Issimo, the “digital extension of the Pellicano world” curated and designed by Marie Louise Scìo, the stylish (and seemingly very fun) CEO of Pellicano hotels (of which the Mezzatorre is one, in addition to Il Pellicano and La Posta Vecchia). The photographs are sold out now but hopefully they will restock.
I read this interesting and hilarious book in two days last summer. It will make you want to visit Tuscany, but not want to purchase any property there! It is a fun read and I love the author, Annette Joseph’s, storytelling style.

Hotel Il Pellicano, a Slim Aarons coffee table book, “A captivating look at the glamorous, jet-setting lifestyles of those who frequent the legendary Hotel Il Pellicano, overlooking a secluded bay in Tuscany’s Porto Ercole. One of the hippest and most beautiful destinations in the world, the chic Hotel Il Pellicano, located on the Argentario, is a hangout for many from the design, fashion, and art worlds.
A Table In Venice, by Sky McAlpine

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